With just one week until St. Patrick’s day I am tapping in to the other side of my heritage – the Irish side! I grew up with a great sense of Irish pride in March thanks to my maternal Grandmother. Once she passed, my Mom carried on her traditions getting us white carnations with a green tint each St. Patrick’s day and having Irish baking or crafts to do, too. Past the soda bread and baked potatoes, I never ate quite as much Irish food as Italian though.
I have what some of you would call dietary barriers to enjoying Irish food…
- I realized late in life that I have low-level allergic reactions to dairy (cheese was the hardest to let go of).
- Corned beef and cabbage was never my thing.
- While I will have an occasional stout, beer doesn’t make me feel good.
- Don’t even ask about my hatred for whiskey.
Just accept that being a lover of potatoes and promoting that we eat a rainbow is good enough to connect to my roots! I’ve also always been excited that St. Patrick and potato gnocchi merge my Irish and Italian heritage into one. St. Patrick is Italian, you know.
As I got older and experimented more in the kitchen, I started to prepare more of the traditional dishes of my ancestors in a plant-based and healthy way. This vegan colcannon not only fits that bill, but also offers bright colors to get you more excited about Irish food and boost your antioxidant intake at the same time.
When I was getting ready to whip up a batch recently, I stumbled upon “buttercream” potatoes at Organnons. They lived up to their expectations, but if you can’t find them, don’t worry. Yukon gold provide a nice texture, too. Plus, the roasted garlic adds to that creaminess!
Sports Nutrition Tips:
- Potatoes pack in lots of potassium to aid your fluid balance
- The carbohydrates in potatoes are excellent for fueling or recovery. I prefer them over pasta before a race!
- Pair this colcannon dish with a couple of scrambled eggs or a serving of scrambled tofu for a perfect post-workout meal.
Enjoy and may the luck of the Irish be with you!
Vegan Rainbow Colcannon
- 3 lbs buttercream potatoes (can sub golden)
- 1 head garlic
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Large carrots, shredded
- ½ medium head cabbage, thinly sliced, then chopped
- 2 C fresh or 1 C frozen kale
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or vegan butter spread
- ½ – ¾ Cup unsweetened cashew milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Set oven to 375 degrees
- Cut the top of the head of garlic off to expose the cloves slightly. You may drizzle a bit of olive oil over top, or just cover in foil before placing in the oven.
- Place potatoes in the oven in a covered ceramic baking dish with 2 ounces of water.
- While potatoes are cooking, add the butter to a large sauce pan over low-medium heat.
- Once butter has melted, add the onions and stir before letting cook 7-10 minutes stirring 1-2 times, replacing the lid to cover each time.
- Next add the cabbage, carrots, and kale. Stir and cover, cooking until the cabbage is relatively soft but before it has lost all of it’s texture, about 5-8 minutes.
- Turn off heat, but leave covered.
- After 30-40 minutes, remove potatoes from the oven, and prick with a fork to ensure potatoes are cooked through.
- You may leave the potatoes in the baking dish or transfer to a large glass bowl.
- Remove the garlic, unwrap the foil and let cool while preparing potatoes.
- Pour in the milk and add the black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Using a potato masher, mash until the potatoes reach your desired texture. I prefer mine to be creamy, and therefore add the full ¾ C of milk and spend more time mashing the potatoes.
- Next, squeeze the roasted garlic into the potato mixture and stir to combine.
- Mix the onion, carrot, and cabbage with the potatoes as well.
- Serve warm with a protein source or store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.